How to Trim a Pine Tree | Innovative Approaches To Improve It

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Pine trees are evergreen because they remain green throughout the years. But over time, it needs pruning to maintain and control its growth, shape, size and remove dead, diseased, and damaged parts of the tree. Pine trees don’t need special care to grow as they grow even in poor soil conditions. Its height goes from 4 feet to 100 feet. Trimming becomes an essential step when it overgrows or reaches above your local garden center’s permitted height. You must know one wrong cut can damage the full tree. Due to this reason, you must remember how to trim a pine tree? What steps will you need to trim a pine tree?

When to Trim a Pine Tree?

You can trim the tree anytime in the year according to the tree’s damage, but the best time is spring. The cuts that are made in the late-season don’t heal fastly because the winter weather gets started. Even if you put wound protection on the cuts, it still doesn’t help in healing. 

How to Trim a Pine Tree

Drawbacks:

There is some drawback of cuts you may face:

  • Using an inaccurate cutting method can cause damage to the whole tree.
  • If you don’t cut the dead branches in summer, then it can spread to other branches.
  • Late spring cuts will never heal quickly, and even you put protection on the cuts. 
  • Cutting with shear can cause the branch to turn brown.
  • If you cut the woody area, then it will stop the growth. Over time it will turn into a stunted look.

How to Trim a Pine Tree

Step 1: Pruning for safety:

Cut dead or diseased branches accurately

  • If you are going to trim a pine tree, you can trim and dead branches that don’t have foliage or appear diseased. 
  • Contact a local guide to get information about the disease pine tree branch to look out for in your area.
how to trim a pine tree that is too tall

Clean your pruners before and after trimming:

  • Before trimming, you must clean your pruners with sanitizer or alcohol from disease spreading to other trees.
  • To do extra precautions, must clean tools before moving towards other trees.
  • After each snip, wipes down the pruner to remove sap.
  • If you are trimming with a hand, saw, then clean it in rubbing manners with an alcohol drop on a clean cloth when you prune the diseased or dead branch.
how to trim a pine tree without killing it

Branch collar

  • Leave the collar area when you remove the branch.
  • Instead of cutting the whole branch as it can damage the trunk.
  • Doing so will help in less damage to the trunk and make it less affected by the disease.

Make three different cuts

  • Instead of hitting one time on a branch, cut it into 3 sections to avoid less damage to the branch collar and trunk.
  • 1st snip the bottom half of the branch from the collar.
  • Now snip the top half of the branch about 1inch from the 1st cut.
  • Now cut off the remaining 12 inches at the branch collar as it will reduce the branch’s weight. As a result, the bark will be less likely to tear.
how to prune pine trees video

Damaged Leader

A leader in the top extended part of the tree. If the leader gets damaged, then :

  • Trim the damaged leader about 2 inches from above its lowest shoot.
  • To make a new leader locate the healthy branch, the branches grow in a leader manner, bend it upward, and tie it with the old leader and trunk.
  • Let it tie for one year and check if it’s mold into a new leader; otherwise, let it tie for another year.

Step 2: Pruning a pine tree:

YouTube video

Take out candles by hands

  • Usually, you observe the thin branches on the pine trees connected into the other branches known as candles. The pinch back of these candles makes it easy to limit the outward growth and looks denser.
  • During the spring, these candles are small enough that you can prune them with your nail tip. If you use pruners to take out the candles, it can turn out the remaining branch to brown.
how to cut a pine tree

Don’t cut stems of the healthy branches:

  • When you are trimming pines, it’s up to you to either prune its candles or the entire branch.
  • New growth can occur from the half-cut branches, so you have to end this with bare spots.
  • Broken, dead, or damaged branches should be removed entirely.
can you cut the bottom branches of a pine tree

Leave pines alone:

  • Pine trees develop their pleasing shape without your assistance.
  • If space is not an issue, then let them go without pruning.
  • If you are trim a very tall pine tree, then it’s not a good idea, but if it’s restricted from your local guide assistance, then cut the leader by following the above-damaged leader method.

Trim a white pine tree: 

White pine trees are often planted in the yard to make a Christmas tree. To prune a white pine tree, you need to know:

  • When to do it?
  • How to shape it?
  • What tools do you need to do it?
pine pruning rules

How to Trim a Pine Tree: Required Tools

Hand pruners: It can be used to cut small branches that are ½ inch wide.

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FELCO F-2 068780 Classic Manual Hand Pruner, F 2
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FELCO F-2 068780 Classic Manual Hand Pruner, F 2
  • Anvil blade with a sap groove
  • A hardened bolt and nut to assure exact adjustment of both the cutting and anvil blades
  • Rubber cushion and shock absorber

Lopping shears: These are the long handle pruners that give wide branches to cut easily.

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TABOR TOOLS GG12A Anvil Lopper with Compound...
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TABOR TOOLS GG12A Anvil Lopper with Compound...
  • CHOPS THROUGH ⌀ 2” BRANCHES effortlessly. This 30” lopper will allow for fast removal of dry and woody growth and is the ideal tool for preparatory cuts and cut-to-length work. The lopper is designed and built for professional-grade applications and makes cutting dramatically easy through extra leverage and compound action power!
  • SHARP BLADE WITH STRONG ANVIL. Anvil pruners have one straight blade that cuts as it closes onto a flat edge or ‘anvil’ - think about it like a knife on a chopping board. This makes an anvil pruner an excellent tool for trimming back live wood before making a final, clean cut with bypass scissors. Suitable for harder and dryer wood. Replacement cutting blades available.
  • COMFORT GRIP AND EXTRA LEVERAGE. This 30” model will allow you to work with some extra leverage and to efficiently navigate around higher limbs. It locks on various lengths in between. The ergonomic handles are designed for optimal grip and the anti-shock rubberized grips on the handles provide extra comfort.

Pruning saw: If the branch is 2 inches wide, then use a pruning saw. This saw is used to cut live wood compared to the wood saw, which is used to cut dry lumber.

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Corona Tools 10-Inch RazorTOOTH Folding Saw |...
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  • 3 SIDED RAZOR TEETH FOR EFFICIENT CUTTING: 10" blade is ideal for cutting 5" - 6" diameter, small to medium, branches
  • ERGONOMICALLY DESIGNED, COMFORTABLE, CO-MOLDED HANDLE: Provides a comfortable grip for extended use
  • EASY TO LATCH BLADE PREVENTS INJURY WHEN NOT IN USE: Folding blade is curved, taper-ground, and replaceable

When to prune a white pine tree?

  • Trim a pine tree when it is dormant.
  • Trimming a branch in the late season can cause disease to the branches.

Step 1: Clean a tool before using them: 

  • Use alcohol for cleaning tools.
  • Wear mask and hand gloves during cleaning tools.
how to trim a pine tree without killing it

Step 2: Trim lower branches of the older trees:

  • The older pine tree does self-trimming as broken, or lower branches fall by themselves when it grows taller. If it’s not happened, then trim yourself.

Step 3: Thin a crowded tree:

  • The younger pine tree branches grow strong and thinner as compared to other species of trees.
  • Strat trimming by removing thin and unsymmetrical branches from the white pine tree, look at the tree’s overall shape and remove any unsharpened branch you observe on the tree.
  • It’s better to sketch which shape you want to make of it, then take out unsymmetrical and unwanted branches that don’t look attractive on the tree.
pruning pine trees, japanese style

Step 4: Cut off broken branches:

  • When trimming an older white pine tree, then your focus must be on trimming unhealthy branches.
  • To keep the tree attractive, remove all the dead, diseased, or broken branches from the tree.

How to Trim a Pine Tree: FAQ Section

How do you trim a pine tree without killing it?

There are different methods you can use to trim a pine tree without any damage to the whole tree as:

Clean a tool before using them

  • Use alcohol for cleaning tools.
  • Wear mask and hand gloves during cleaning tools.

Branch collar: 

  • Leave the collar area when you remove the branch.
  • Instead of cutting the whole branch as it can damage the trunk.

Make three different cuts:

  • Instead of hitting one time on a branch, cut it into 3 sections to avoid less damage to the branch collar and trunk.
  • 1st snip the bottom half of the branch from the collar.

Remove the damaged leader:

  • Trim the damaged leader about 2 inches from above its lowest shoot.

Can you cut the bottom branches of a pine tree?

Trim lower branches of the older trees:

  • The older pine tree does self-trimming as broken, or lower branches fall by themselves when it grows taller. If it’s not happened, then trim yourself.

Thin a crowded tree:

  • The younger pine tree branches grow strong and thinner as compared to other species of trees.
  • Strat trimming by removing thin and unsymmetrical branches from the white pine tree, look at the tree’s overall shape and remove any unsharpened branch you observe on the tree.
  • It’s better to sketch which shape you want to make of it, then take out unsymmetrical and unwanted branches that don’t look attractive on the tree.

Will pine tree branches grow back?

Yes, Pine trees are evergreen because they remain green throughout the years. But over time, it needs pruning to maintain and control its growth, shape, size and remove dead, diseased, and damaged parts of the tree. Pine trees don’t need special care to grow as they grow even in poor soil conditions. Its height goes from 4 feet to 100 feet. Also, cutting in the wrong way can damage the branches and trunk; thus, it stops its growth.

Conclusion

To conclude this topic, it is necessary to take all necessary precautions to prevent any damage. Pine trees grow themselves and drop-down their long branches as it overgrows. But in some species, it essential to trim any broken or diseased branch without considering the right weather.

Read More: How to Trim a River Birch Tree

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